4 National Cinema

National Cinemas Hollywood films dominate the world’s screens making it difficult for individual, locally produced films to compete for their audiences. This situation threatens the ability of individual communities—nations, regions, and cultures—to express their distinct cultural identities. In many different countries, governments have developed funding organizations and/or introduced laws concerning the distribution of films in order to protect local film industries. This project will chart a history of one (or more) National Cinemas, addressing, among other issues the effect of cultural imperialism and role of government subsidies and laws in the development of each, and discuss.  C.R.A.Z.Y.


  • Sangrita Gopal and Sujata Moorti, “Bollywood in Drag: The Aesthetics of Global Cinema,” Camera Obscura 75. Vol. 25, No. 3, 2011.
  • Peter Harcourt, Movies and Mythologies: Towards a National Cinema, Canadian Broadcasting Corp., 1977.  (library)
  • Bill Marshall, Quebec National Cinema [electronic resource] Montreal: McGill -Queen’s University Press, 2001.
  • Bill Walsh, “National Cinema, National Imaginary,” Film History; Spring, 1996, Vol. 8 Issue 1

On-line Materials + PDFs

National Cinema wiki

Higson, Andrew_The Concept of National Cinema

Gopal and Moorti_Bollywood in Drag- Moulin Rouge! and the Aesthetics of Global Cinema

Discussion Prompts

  • Discussion of cinema from the perspective of nationality encourages consideration of the role that cultural production plays in community identification and formation, as defined along geographical and linguistic (and sometimes religious) lines.  With reference to a specific national cinema, discuss the ways in which its film production underwrites collective cultural identification and the narrativization of cultural ideals.
  •  Today, many films  are produced through international partnership arrangements.  Indeed, with film stories written by authors from one national context, directed, filmed, acted, scored, produced, distributed and seen by participants elsewhere, it is difficult, if not impossible to discern the authoring culture.  Discuss the relevance of National Cinema in today’s global film environment.